Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




English-medium instruction, distributed leadership, culture change, capacity-building, sensemaking, participative action research


In a bid to remain competitive and respond to the forces of globalization, higher education institutions are increasingly focusing on internationalization, with English-medium instruction (EMI) as one of the key strategies for achieving this. While most institutions provide dedicated language support in the form of English for Academic Purposes programs, consideration is rarely given to the pedagogical requirements placed on disciplinary faculty for instructing non-native English-speaking students in degree programs. This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) examines how the learning and teaching capacity of disciplinary faculty can be developed to support the language needs of students with low language proficiency at a transnational EMI university in China. Feedback from a recent focus group on professional development needs supports such a teaching culture change, indicating faculty desire for EMI training. The OIP is explored through social cognition and cultural lenses utilizing a distributed leadership (DL) approach, with the aim of co-constructing discipline-specific EMI support solutions with faculty. Cawsey et al.'s (2016) Change Path Model, Scharmer's (2016a) Theory U, and Jones and Harvey's (2017) Sustainable Enabling and Evaluating Reflective DL Change Process Model underpin a change framework facilitated by sensemaking and growth mindset strategies, to support and guide faculty towards adopting a change in teaching practice. Successive pilots will steer the implementation of this change, monitored and evaluated through a series of participative action research cycles and feedback loops, with the aim of incrementally building support for the change and leading to the institutionalization of a revised approach of EMI.